MECHANIC, THE (J. Robert Belew)
Ex-Special Forces, ex-CIA, J. Bob is a short, muscular Ace and proud owner of an impressive walrus moustache. He's also a shrewd and capable operator who left the agency after twenty years to go freelance, and has since accepted contract work for a variety of government institutions, including the odd job for his old employers.
As for his special skills, Belew discovered - possibly when playing with his knives - that he's able to control any machine by projecting his consciousness into it, although the process does require severing a limb and placing the bleeding stump against the engine or gearstick. While at first glance this would seem to be a power with a limited shelf life, the Wild Card's also gifted him with rapid regenerative powers, thus allowing him to lop off appendages to his heart's content.
Positive attributes - Honest, world-wise, well-read, keeps his word, comfortable in any situation, knows something about everything.
Negative character traits - Smug, not totally trustworthy, likes to make people aware that he's smarter than they are.
Main appearances - Turn of the Cards, Card Sharks, Black Trump.
Supporting appearances - Marked Cards.
In a nutshell - Spook in the machine.
Random quote - 'I'm a man who always does what he believes to be right, and I'm not embarrassed when what's right happens to gratify my less noble instincts.'
With his unhealthy pallour, mad eyes and dirty clothes, Messer is a German hunchback Ace who you'd cross the street to avoid. This could be the smartest move you'd ever make, as he's a nasty little psycho with a huge grudge against humanity in general. He's also a closet homosexual so they're at the top of the list, closely followed by women, Jews, Jokers, and the homeless. Then everyone else.
Thanks to the Wild Card, he's able to alter the molecules of his body to such an extent that he can turn insubstantial at will, as well as rapidly vibrate his hands into buzzsaws capable of cutting through just about anything. Flesh and bone are his favourites. Never the brightest bulb in the pack, he'd like people to call him Mack the Knife but never leaves anyone alive long enough to spread the word.
Positive attributes - No redeeming qualities.
Negative character traits - Psychopath, sadist, dim-witted, mentally unstable.
Main appearances - Aces Abroad, Ace In The Hole.
Supporting appearances - Dead Man's Hand, Dealer's Choice.
In a nutshell - The unkindest cut.
Random quote - 'I'm special.'
Tall, attractive and athletic, the Angel is a devout young Ace blessed with enhanced strength and the ability to call forth the Sword of God out of the sky whenever she needs to smite the wicked. Or at least that's how she sees it. Nevertheless, she says the word and all of a sudden, she's wielding a sword the size of a small man with a fiery blade capable of cutting through diamond. She relaxes her grip and it's like it was never there. Apart from all the property damage, that is.
It's not all peaches and cream, however. She's got a metabolism that burns calories at an alarming rate and leaves her in an almost constant state of hunger. She's also pissed off that people don't take her as seriously as they might, though a tendency to wear tight, form-fitting, black leather jumpsuits might have something to do with that.
Positive attributes - Trustworthy, honest, magnanimous, brave.
Negative character traits - Fanatically religious, close-minded, gullible, naive.
Main appearances - Death Draws Five.
Supporting appearances - Busted Flush.
In a nutshell - Touched by the Hand of God.
Random quote - 'I am the Midnight Angel. Named after the hour of my Lord's passion in the Garden of Getheseme.'
MISTRAL (Helen Carlysle)
Helen Carlysle - or Ms. Carlysle as she prefers to be addressed - is an attractive Ace with identical powers to those of her father, Cyclone. Ie. the ability to call up and manipulate the wind in whatever manner she chooses. Besides using the air currents to fly, she can focus her powers to create small, violent whirlwinds with minimal damage to the surroundings, as well as construct wind shields that can deflect most attacks.
Like father, like daughter, she's carried on the family tradition in more ways than one. She loves the limelight, she's used to getting her own way, she's a government stooge, she has daddy's fashion sense and his love for camera-friendly, brightly coloured bodysuits - hers is blue and silver - and she gets on your nerves in an amazingly short space of time. Her specialty is giving people haughty looks.
Positive attributes - Honest, strong-willed.
Negative character traits - Sanctimonious, supercilious, spoilt, naive, arrogant.
Main appearances - Turn of the Cards.
Supporting appearances - Aces High, Jokers Wild, Dealer's Choice.
In a nutshell - Up in the air.
Random quote - 'I'm not puritanical. I'm only... careful.'
On the surface an unprepossessing fellow with a waistline and glasses, but Cash's looks are deceiving. He's also a Deuce capable of affecting the gravitational mass of inanimate objects. Or to put it another way, he lifts stuff. And usually stuff that's fallen off the back of a lorry - Cash isn't exactly a bad guy, but then he ain't all that good, either. All he needs to do is make physical contact with said object and it becomes as light as air. The power only works when he's in a heightened emotional state, but since he's usually annoyed about something or other, it's rarely a problem.
Positive attributes - Reasonable, pragmatic, sense of humour.
Negative character traits - Easily irritated, works for the local godfather, untrustworthy.
Main appearances - Deuces Down.
Supporting appearances - None.
In a nutshell - Heavy.
Random quote - 'I have many faults, among them slovenliness and laziness, but the greatest of these is greed.'
Although considered an Ace by many, Modular Man is actually a synthetic android with easily replaceable parts - or modules - that provide him with a vast range of powers. You name it, he can do it. Insubstantiality? Check. Flight capability? Check. Force field? Check. Super strength? Check. Enhanced hearing and vision? Check. Coffee making facilities? Check. In addition, weapons modules can also be attached to various parts of his body whenever circumstances demand it.
Initially created as a prototype in the hope that the military would like what they saw and commission a whole lot more, Mod Man is now a one-of-a-kind sentient being with human emotions coming to terms with the fact that he's not like other men. He's a whole lot better looking for a start. His creator, Dr Travnicek, based his looks on those of a male model, but for some reason left the top of his head transparent - which kind of gives the game away. Doesn't stop him from getting laid regularly, though.
Positive attributes - Wants to try everything, highly knowledgable, quick learner, more human than his creator, capable of advanced existential reasoning.
Negative character traits - Other than total loyalty to his unbalanced creator, negative traits have not been integrated into his personality.
Main appearances - Aces High, Down and Dirty, Dealer's Choice.
Supporting appearances - Jokers Wild.
In a nutshell - Magnificent flying machine.
Random quote - 'I am beginning to realise that my creator is a hopeless sociopath.'
MOONCHILD, See CAPTAIN TRIPS
A slim, pretty 'nat' with large, blue eyes and a boyish demeanor, Sara is a respected journalist - if that's not an oxymoron - for the Washington Post. Ever since winning the Pulitzer for her reporting of the Jokertown Riots of '76, she's been the go-to girl when it comes to Wild Card affairs. On a personal level, she does herself a great injustice by considering herself a second-rate imitation of her beautiful sister, Andrea, who was murdered during childhood. As a result, she's got it in for Puppetman ever since she found out he was involved in her death. Guess you don't win Pulitzers by being objective.
Positive attributes - Tenacious, strong-willed, street-wise, nemesis of Puppetman.
Negative character traits - Stubborn, obsessive.
Main appearances - Aces Abroad, Ace in the Hole.
Supporting appearances - Aces High, Dead Man's Hand.
In a nutshell - Obstinate.
Random quote - 'I'm not sure about anything.'
MR NOBODY (Jerry Strauss)
Not too many people know what Jerry Strauss really looks like. Even he has trouble remembering. Originally a plain-looking, red-haired guy, Jerry has since made full use of his talents as a shapeshifting Ace capable of completely altering his appearance at will. Man, woman or monster - whatever he can envisage, he can become. And the fact that he's a fanatical movie buff with a vivid imagination means there's no shortage of source material. Trouble is, he's been other people for so long he doesn't see the point in being himself again - especially as he was never all that happy in the role anyway.
Jerry probably thought he'd found the perfect vehicle for his talents when he Initially took the stage as a nightclub impressionist under the name, The Projectionist. Unfortunately, while he certainly looked the part(s), his material was crap and his delivery was even worse. He subsequently lost the plot for awhile, but has since found his niche in the private detective racket, where he gets to fulfill all his Bogart fantasies by playing straight man to Jay Ackroyd and treating every case as a potential Big Sleep. Hey, why let reality get in the way of a good time?
Positive attributes - Resourceful, earnest, quick thinker, courageous.
Negative character traits - Impulsive, immature, insecure, stubborn, lacks common sense, treats life as a movie.
Main appearances - Aces Abroad, One-Eyed Jacks, Jokertown Shuffle, Dealer's Choice, Marked Cards, Black Trump, Death Draws Five.
Supporting appearances - Wild Cards, Down and Dirty.
In a nutshell - Anonymous.
Random quote - 'Mind if I change first?'